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Friday, March 14, 2008

Dear Mom - March 14, 2008

Dear Mom,

We are going to New York to visit family this weekend. I want to get some toys for the car ride for my one year old. The drive will take 8 hours. He will probably sleep for most of the trip, but I need to be prepared in case he doesn't. Any suggestion?

Signed: Traveling with Toddler

Dear Traveling,

I recommend that you create a travel box for your trip. You can get a plastic container at your local dollar store to contain all the toys, or anywhere that storage supplies are sold. Decorate your child's box with stickers and markers or anything that will make the box look special and exciting. Be sure to put your child's name on his box. This is especially important if you are travelling with more than one child as each child should have his own travel box. The items inside the box should be age appropriate and directed to the specific interests of the child. The items should also be a surprise so that your child is excited about opening his box and finding out what is inside.

Below is a list of suggested items to include for a one year old:

-Small bags of snacks such as pretzels or cereal
-A travel size Magna Doodle type toy
-One or two noisy toys -- a fake cell phone, a small musical toy with buttons to push
-A new stuffed animal
-A collection of figurines appropriate for small children such as Pooh or Care Bears
-Pencils and paper (I don't recommend crayons in the car because they will melt if the interior of the car gets hot while parked.)
-Color Wonders Markers and paper is also a good choice for the car because there is no mess with these markers.
-A collection of key rings. You can buy standard key rings in the craft section of Wal-Mart. You can also get novelty key rings there or at your local dollar store. String the plain key rings and the novelty key rings together to make a "lump" of key rings for your child to explore. Be sure to get colorful novelty key rings. The wording does not really matter when dealing with a one year old, but it does need to be eye catching.

When all else fails --- never underestimate the power of CHOCOLATE!!!

The travel box can be used for any child of any age. Just tailor the items inside to the child's age and interests. It may also be a good idea to wrap some of the small toys for the older kids and write a time or location on the package for opening the gift along you route. For older kids, you should also include a laminated map with the key points of your trip so the child can follow your progress.

For specific suggestions regarding this topic and your child, or any other questions you may have, please contact Mom at